As the witching hour broke, I began to roam about the house in the dark, trying not to make a noise less the dog barked, the household awoke and the neighbours cursed me. Then it dawned on me that I was no longer in possession of a phone.

The phone was lying face down in the road and beyond the prospect of a replacement screen. Thus began a week of red faced trips to the #Apple store.

The red face was in part because of my own idiocy in dropping my phone and not noticing, then having to peel its shattered remains out of a plastic bag to give an account of myself. The redder face was the rage of being held in the grip of #Apple power. #Apple does not seem to me, to serve, but to administer its customers. With an annual budget bigger than some national economies, it’s well placed to behave like the Department of Stealth and Total Obscurity. It demands compliance.

After the interminable wait, I recounted the manner of death of my phone. A replacement quote was emailed. The insurance agreed to pay.  I phoned the #Apple store to arrange an appointment. The Genius were not answering their phones. No matter, #AppleCare could help. The incomprehensible conversation that followed came to an end because the Genius were still not answering their phone and #AppleCare couldn’t help and didn’t care. Then the phones were not working.

Ready to part with my credit card, I went to the #Apple store and queued for a second time. The moment of truth arrived and I was tantalisingly close to a replacement phone. Or not. The quote was not the quote. “It might not say it, but everyone knows you have to hand over your broken phone for that price”. I didn’t. No one told me. It wasn’t in the quote.

The phone might be useless, but its carcass held value and everyone wanted a slice of the action. The insurers wanted it. #Apple demanded it. Just like a government department that makes a mistake, it was my tough luck. Exasperatingly, I arrange my third #Apple visit. “Don’t forget to bring your driving licence as photo ID next time,” said the Genius.

“Driving is such a popular activity with blind people”. I snapped.

We argued the toss and he suggested I bring my passport and just to be tricky I said I’d bring my bus pass.

“I’ll need your passport.”

“But what if I don’t have a passport? Are you saying that if I don’t have a passport or a driving licence I can’t have a phone?”

“You’ll need photo ID. We accept passports or driving licences.”

“I’ll bring my bus pass then. That’s got a photo.”

“I don’t think we can accept a bus pass.”

“What happens to the many disabled people who don’t have a passport or a driving licence? Are you saying they can’t have a phone?”

There was a stand off while an #Apple civil servant decided to make an exception and allow the bus pass as photo ID.

On my third trip to the #Apple store, I flashed my bus pass at the Genius who turned out to be at school with a friend’s son. He knew about bus passes and “OMG! You know Louise,” he said.

With any process set in stone, it’s who you know that counts. Perhaps this will prove to be useful work experience, should the junior Genius ever want to progress from the state of #Apple to a state of something more benign.

I might be red faced but I like to think it would be genius if the bus pass were right up there with the driving licence and the passport.